The Importance of Being Sleepy-pt9

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Previously, we looked at getting to sleep. That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but what about when I’ve woken up at 4am and I’m still awake at 5 and the sun’s coming up and the cat’s yowling to go out and the birds are waking up and my partner’s snoring like a grizzly bear and


Well, deep breath, we’ve got some tips for you too!

1.     Don’t toss and turn

I know it’s frustrating, but try not to toss and turn when you can’t get back to sleep. You’re raising your heartbeat and agitating your mental state, so lie back and focus on your breathing and relaxing your body for a few minutes.

2.     Don’t clock watch

Ever noticed how slowly the minutes go by at 4am? Turn the alarm clock to face the wall and try not to worry about how long you’ve now been awake for, how much sleep you probably got before you woke up and how long it is until you have to get up for work.

3.     If the above don’t work, GET UP!

No, seriously. The last thing we want is to develop bad habits of lying in bed staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, and generally tying ourselves up in mental and physical knots because we can’t sleep. If you don’t feel yourself drifting back off, get up. Try to avoid turning on all the main lights, and use a torch or dim lamp to see by instead. Once you’re up, try tip 4 or 5.

4.     Drink warm milk/herbal tea

Beware of caffeine, but a soothing warm drink can help you get back off to sleep by temporarily raising your body temperature, ready to drop back into cooler sleep mode again.

5.     Engage in a non-stimulatory activity

Just like in the lead up to going to bed, it’s best to avoid the TV, laptop and other gadgets, or doing anything too strenuous. Find somewhere comfortable to sit with a book, with your warm drink, to listen to soothing music, or just to day dream until you feel ready to go back to sleep.

I hope those tips come in useful next time you find yourself wide awake at some ungodly hour. What do you find works best for you?  Tomorrow, a look at your sleep environment.

SG out

Finding it hard to de-stress, take time-out or switch off?  Check out my free 6-step e-book - 'Emergency Stress CPR'

Dave Algeo, Stressed Guru is a speaker and writer committed to spreading the message - well-being and success need each other.  Get in touch to find out how he can help your organisation develop greater success with wellbeing, or learn more about his speaking and workshops.